True Courage and the Power of Your Inner Wildness

Strength from the Druid Craft Tarot

Strength from the Druid Craft Tarot

Strength is the 8th card of the Major Arcana and traditionally depicts a young woman with her arms around a lion.  This Druid inspired deck depicts a boar instead of a big cat, but in both cards the symbol is one of tamed power.  The lesson of this card is about merging with and harnessing the feral aspects of one’s soul and making friends with that wildness.  The message it brings is: Your strength lies in your ability to have faith, let go, and work from the inside out rather than the outside in.  Strength lies in authenticity and honesty with yourself and others.  It’s time to stop playing roles for other people.  It’s time to start moving through the world with solid, grounded footsteps, taking good care of your body, being very truthful with yourself and wide awake with your emotions.

When you tap into the powerful, fiery energy of Strength, you feel courageous.   Your passions come alive and you have everything you need to see them through ~ not because you’re working hard to create that force, but because you are harmoniously allowing it to flow through you.  Ultimately it teaches that true strength lies in wholeness, and the way to wholeness is through gentle self-compassion.

How does this wildness show up?  In the negative, it shows up when we’re weak-willed, numbed-out, or addicted ~ that’s when it’s ruling us.  In the positive, it brings about passion and inspiration ~ that’s when we’re in harmony with it.  The Strength card is about realizing that we need to be awake and aware of what is going on in our physical bodies, emotional bodies, mental and spiritual bodies.  It’s time as Mary Oliver puts it, “… to let the warm animal of your body love what it loves.”  This will lead you right into knowing where you belong in the “family of things” {from the poem “Wild Geese”}.  Strength wants us to integrate all our scattered pieces through deep and abiding self-compassion.  You don’t tame the beast by beating it down ~ you tame it through love and acceptance. 

Let the crisp cold air of winter help you wake up and notice where you’ve been checking out.  Let your honest and authentic self be what shows up in the world.  Strength is about reclaiming self-esteem and channeling that energy into your true passions.  When you’re embodying this lesson you won’t have to go to battle, defend yourself, and fight to be strong.  You’ll know that your strength resides in your authentic nature.  You have accepted and lovingly tamed the parts of you that seemed wild, unacceptable, or out of control by loving them ~ a truly bold and courageous act.

Here’s a checklist to help you check-in with your 4 bodies:

˜       Physical Body:  Are you rested?  Do you have aches and pains?  Do you need to eat better, get more exercise, or maybe slow down a bit?  Check in.  The first thing you think of is the place that needs your attention.

˜       Emotional Body:  What are you feeling?  If you feel sad and need to cry then allow the tears to flow ~ your spirit is asking for cleansing.  If you’re angry, take a look at your boundaries and imagine sending fiery energy into a bright protective barrier all around your body.  Notice how you’re feeling and sit with that emotion so the energy can be released.

˜       Mental Body:  Are you scattered, confused, or locked in a noisy inner world of endless mind chatter?  Are you processing too much information?  Do you need to rest mentally or do you need to learn something new to stoke the fire of your inspiration.   Take a moment and just breathe slowly.

˜       Spiritual Body:  Do you feel overwhelmed or inspired?  Do you feel like you can trust life or are you frozen?  What does your spirit need most right now?  Rest, movement, creativity, silence… whatever you think of first is your answer.

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